view sourceprint? 01 Ramblings from a Ranch Wife

Random Thought:

I am his Eyes,
He is my Wings,
I am his Voice,
He is my Spirit,
I am his Human.
He is my Horse.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cricket

The Cowboss and I roped together in a branding contest one saturday in March.  I used my favorite horse Cricket, and he did awesome.  I felt like I could rope bridleless and he would put me where I needed to be.  He was wonderful.  He has been my sidekick for years.  The horse I depended on to take care of me when I put myself in a bad place, bring me in for a heel shot when I can't think, ride, and rope all at the same time, gave me the courage to do what I didn't think possible, and wings, so I could fly.

Then on that following Tuesday Cricket colicked, and I held my breath.

Wednesday he was better, and I let out a huge sigh of relief.

Thursday I put him down, and I cried.

I keep telling myself how fortunate I am to have had him for 13 years and how lucky we were to have one last great ride, doing what we both loved together.  Honestly though, it hurts.  I feel like I've lost my best friend and can't get over it.  He was the one constant horse in my life.  I rode him through both of my pregnancies and gave he gave both of my boys their first rides.  When I needed to get something done or didn't feel my best, he was my go to guy.  I just knew he would be the horse to teach both the boys to rope.

When given the option of surgery or putting him down, I made the choice to put him down over the 5 hour trailer ride for surgery when the odds weren't in our favor.  He was in so much pain and kept looking to me to make him feel better.

I loaded him in our trailer and I drove him home.  I unloaded him in the drive way, and lead him just as slowly as he wanted to walk down in the pasture where he would have shade and a beautiful view of the Rubies.  Then I held his head and scratched the spot I knew he liked the most while the vet gave him the shot that took all of his pain away forever.  And I cried.  A lot.

I really hope he is with a girl in heaven who needed a good horse.  Who can appreciate him for what he is.  Look past his quirks and love him like I did, because he deserves that much.  Maybe someday I will find another horse just like him, who challenges me when I need it and takes care of me on the days I can't.  Until then I know I will have some hard days.

Saturday I rope in the first branding contest I've entered since I lost him.  I feel lost.  I feel like I can't rope, and I just really want to stay home and pretend that he is down in the field with his ears pinned back, glaring at any other horse who gets too close.  I could really use my copilot for one more ride.

Photo courtesy of Heidi Stevens

Thursday, April 24, 2014

5 Things Every CowboyGirl Should Have

1.  A Good Bridle Horse.

Everyone has that neighbor, or friend, or friend of a friend who is a wreck waiting to happen.  Sooner or later you will have to work around them horse back.  It is comforting to know you have something to ride who can take that stress without having a come apart.

Case in point:  We helped some family brand this spring.  Whether it was the neighbor kid running under my horse's head to get to the calf we just heeled and were headed to the fire at a high trot, or the drunk idiot stumbling through the middle of the branding pen you had to watch out for, there was always some kind of chaos afoot.  Knowing the potential I took "Natty," my bridle horse the Cowboss made for me (who I am still trying to get used to after losing Cricket).  She was doing pretty good.  Then I pantyhosed a big calf.  Instead of dallying, I went with the calf, bucking across the branding trap (calf, not Natty), hoping the rope would slide off it's flanks and I could get dallied before slipping a foot.  When that didn't work, I went to turn the calf off the fence.  I was thinking I could reach down and slip the rope down.  Just as soon as I got close enough to reach down and move the rope, someone decided to help me.  They came running at me, spooking both Natty and the calf.  The calf darted behind my horse still roped.  We were a tangled up mess. Instead of panicking with the rope around her feet, Natty held her breath and waited for the dust to settle.  In case you are wondering, I lost the calf.  Natty didn't have a come apart.  She didn't lose her head.  She stood there and waited for a cue from me.

You should always have a horse that can keep it's head when things come tight.  Not just for your safety, but for everyone around you.

2.  Pretty Boot Tops.  They are like expensive lingerie.  Nobody has to see them, but you still feel sexy.  Feeling sexy makes you confident.  When you are confident, you rope better.

3.  Pretty Silver Earrings.  They make you feel good and like you are put together.  You are more confident when you look and feel your best.

4.  Painted Nails.  Either finger nails or toenails.  Just because I work with a bunch of men doesn't mean I need to act like one.  Painted nails are a good reminder that I am a girl and should always act like a lady.

5.  A Good Cinch, and not just because I tie and sell them!  I feel a cinch is one of the most important pieces of tack a person should have.  It keeps your saddle on your horse.  You need to keep it clean and check it often for broken strands.  There is nothing worse than soring your horse or roping a soggy yearling and having your saddle come right off your horse!  Your horse will perform better when they are more comfortable.

Photo Courtesy of the Fabulous Heidi Stevens!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Naming Cows

Do you name your cows?  Apparently we do.  I guess you could say it's been a long winter feeding here because now the majority of our cow herd (and some of the corrientes too) all have names.  Of course it falls on mom to remember all of the names and who each name goes to.  When there were only 3 cows and calves, it wasn't this hard!

I do take full responsibility.  I encouraged the boys to name the twin heifers their grandpa gave them a couple of years ago.  QT named his "Rosie," and TR had "Juliet" and her calf "Gnomeo" (who is now our herd bull).  Our other bull is named "Tybalt" to go with the Gnomeo and Juliet theme.  Some names are pretty unimaginative.  We have a "Blackie" (she's black), "Red" (she's red), "Baldy" (who has a white face), and "Roanie" (you guessed it, she's roan).  Then there is a "Vindicator," our muley herford heifer and "Ely the Second" (Ely the first belongs to the ranch and resides at Red House).  Some names are really off the wall.  We have a black calf named "Sunshine," a red cow fondly known as "Mustard Sandwich," (because QT likes mustard on his sandwiches), and a black and white corriente known as "Snowflake."

I have vetoed a few names.  We just can't have a bull named "Sprinkles."  I wouldn't let them name the cow that got me down last winter "Fighter Attack" either.  We need some more color in our cow herd because the color black is about exhausted!

Friday, April 18, 2014

5 Things Every Cowgirl Needs in the Kitchen

When the Cowboss and I were first married, we had a camp job.  I spent 9 months of the year in remote cow camps, and it was heaven.  Some months we lived in cabins, but a lot of the time we lived in a camper. Not a very nice camper, but camp was way better than the company house we had to live in.  I could put my arms out and touch both walls, but I didn't complain.

Since we moved about 8 times a year, we packed pretty light.  Not having electricity and packing water, we didn't have much use for a lot of kitchen gadgets either.  This is my list of 5 kitchen items I think every cowgirl needs.  They are the 5 I couldn't live without.

1.  Cast Iron Skillet.


Cast iron is awesome!  You can use it on the stove, in the oven, or even the campfire.  It is easy to clean and helps prevent anemia.  You can use a skillet to fry and egg, bake biscuits, cook a steak, or bake a cake.  It is super versatile.  Have I mentioned they make a great tool for self defense?  Or attitude adjustments?*

2.  Cast Iron Dutch Oven.


Like a cast iron skillet, it can be used anywhere.  I used mine much as a crockpot.  I can adapt any crockpot recipe to cook in a dutch oven in my oven.  The biggest obstacle I had was getting it to fit in a camper oven!

3.  Mixing Bowl.


Mixing up biscuits, pancake batter, or scrambling eggs is definitely easier if you have a decent bowl to do it in.

4.  Wooden Spoon.


You have to have something to stir with.  The nice thing about a wooden spoon is it won't melt, so it can be used on the stove top, and if you don't have a potholder, you can use it to lift the lid off a dutch oven.  They are also pretty cheap, so you can replace them very easily.

5.  Spatula.


Comes in handy flipping pancakes and eggs, or serving dinner.

What are 5 kitchen tools you can't live without?

*The Rambling Ranch Wife does not condone adjusting spouse's attitude with a cast iron skillet.  The threat alone of using said skillet should do the trick!  ;)